3 Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation

3 Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation

Concentrated focus on breathing, emotions and staying present appears to be able to help people of all age groups in many varied ways. When mindfulness meditation is practiced for an extended period of time, some of the benefits include increasing work productivity and efficiency, helping with self-awareness and introspection and boosting sleep quality.

 

Increasing Work Productivity and Efficiency

Since the early manufacturing days, companies have been on the lookout for new and innovative ways to increase human productivity and efficiency in the workplace. In the book by David Gelles, “Mindful Work, How Meditation Is Changing business From the Inside Out”, it showed that employees from Aetna, an American Insurance company, who took a “Mindfulness at Work” course, saw their healthcare cost fall by $2,000 a year, compared to the control group. Also, productivity improved, resulting in more than an hour’s gain in work time per employee weekly.

 

Helping with Self-awareness and Introspection

Did you know that meditating for eight weeks can significantly change the brain’s grey matter, a major part of the central nervous system associated with processing information and providing nutrients? In a study, led by Harvard researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), 16 participants took part in the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program for eight weeks, where MRIs were taken of their brains before and after the program. Throughout the eight weeks, the participants spent an average of 27 minutes practicing mindfulness exercises a day. At the end of the program, the participants showed an increase in grey matter in the hippocampus, which helps with self-awareness, compassion and introspection. Also, participants with lower stress levels showed decreased grey matter density in the amygdale, which helps manage anxiety and stress.

 

Boosting Sleep Quality

While sleep disturbances affect all age groups, the elderly suffer from poor sleep quality most acutely. They tend to fall asleep unintentionally, more often than people of other age groups, thus upsetting their sleeping schedule at night. In a study reported by the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that teaching participants standardized mindfulness awareness practices together with sleep hygiene education, enabled them to sleep better, compared to those who did only received sleep hygiene education. Mindfulness awareness practices focuses on developing personal meditation practices, and to apply those principles into the participants’ daily lives, while sleep hygiene education emphasizes the benefits of regular exercise, avoiding caffeine and frequent napping. Sleeping more and well will then help lower stress levels, maintain a healthy weight and improve memory, which leads to the improvement of your overall health and well-being .

 

Mindfulness meditation has multiple benefits and promises to be a measure to improving the overall health and well-being of an individual mentally and emotionally. Importantly, it is side-effect-free.

 

Recommended articles:

Zensorium | 3 Fascinating Facts About Meditation
Zensorium | 3 Ways More Sleep Works for Your Brain
Zensorium | 5 Ways to Reduce Stress
Zensorium | Health Benefits of Sleep
Zensorium | Meditation Improves the Brain in 3 Ways
Zensorium | Understanding and Managing Stress

 

Resources:

LA Times | Author looks at how meditation is changing corporate America
Medical Daily | Mindfulness Meditation Boosts Sleep Quality Among Older Adults, Offering Alternative To Drugs
Medical Daily | The Mental Health Benefits Of Meditation: It’ll Alter Your Brain’s Grey Matter, And Improve Memory, Sense Of Self

 

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